DGA members interested in exploring a range of directing techniques were given the opportunity to put theory into practice in a series of workshops presented by the Special Projects Committee. The four-week course took place at DGA headquarters in Los Angeles. Each session offered the participants a variety of powerful tools and effective strategies for working with actors, staging scenes for the camera, and interpreting dramatic texts to express the director’s creative vision.
At the February 16 introductory session, Director and Special Projects Committee Chair Jeremy Kagan (The Big Fix, The Chosen) outlined the principles of directing and Director Jon Amiel (The Singing Detective, Copycat) demonstrated his “I Am the Camera” technique that ties the core intention of a scene to the requirements of shooting. During the second session on February 23, Kagan and Amiel observed and critiqued scene work directed by four workshop participants, followed by the restaging of their scenes based on notes from the instructors.
The third session on March 9 featured Director Mark Travis (Three’s Company, Family Ties), who demonstrated his “Travis Technique” for generating authentic performances. The second half of the session was conducted by Director Randal Kleiser (Grease, The Blue Lagoon), who provided highlights of The Nina Foch Course for Filmmakers & Actors, which he and other directors credit with giving them important fundamentals on working with actors. At the final session on March 16, Travis and Kleiser observed and critiqued scene work directed by four selected participants, and guided the restaging of the scenes based on their notes.